Saying ‘NO’, in a nice way…

Featured

By Anita Manley

As the holidays approach, many people become anxious about spending time with family. With COVID, there is the added stress of gathering with more people than you might feel comfortable with, or perhaps you are concerned about new variants, or if everyone at the gathering is vaccinated.

It is so important to set healthy boundaries in our relationships with others, and in order to do so, saying ‘No’ sometimes is imperative. But, saying no is hard for us, since we do not want to disappoint people.

Here’s a handy list of “Nice ways to say no” from WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan):

  1. Sounds nice, but I’m not available.
  2. I am honoured that you asked me, but I can’t do it.
  3. I’m sorry, but I can’t help you out at this time.
  4. Unfortunately, it’s not a good time.
  5. I am not available at the moment, maybe next time.
  6. Unfortunately, this is not something I can do right now.
  7. I really appreciate you asking me, but I can’t commit to that right now.
  8. Sorry, but I can’t make it, maybe another time.

    WRAP also mentions that it is also OK to say ‘NO’ not so nicely, when the occasion calls for it!

    So, from this point onwards, you can set healthy boundaries with loved ones in your lives, by saying NO, in a nice way (or perhaps not so nicely). It’s important to stay true to ourselves and be clear and honest with others at the same time.

    Do you find it hard to say NO?

    You can view another one of my posts here, about saying no.
Set some healthy boundaries this holiday season. Be honest and say no, as needed.

Learning to say “NO”

Featured

By Anita Manley

Setting boundaries and sticking to them is a very important part of mental wellness and recovery.

Many of us have been raised to follow orders–do whatever Mom and Dad tell you to do, listen to the boss, and never challenge authority. We are taught that we are not a “good child, employee, partner, etc.” if we say NO. We may even feel guilty.

This type of thinking can often get us into hot water.  It is so important, at times, to say no–loud and proud, mean it, and stick to it. It helps others to understand and respect your limits. Often times, you gain more respect by not being a “yes-man”. If you are not prepared to do something, or you don’t have the time or the desire, or if it goes against your beliefs, then just say no!  A long explanation isn’t needed.

Sometimes we say no, and the person at the receiving end still continues to push for a yes.  It is so important to stick to your guns and not give in.  There is a good reason you said no in the first place.  Repeat your answer. If you feel comfortable–clearly explain why you are saying no. If they’re not happy with that, point out to them that they’re not respecting your boundaries.

According to Melody Beattie, in the book The Language of Letting Go:

“The problem is, if we don’t learn to say no, we stop liking ourselves and the people we always try to please. We may even punish others out of resentment.

“When do we say no? When no is what we really mean.

“When we learn to say no, we stop lying. People can trust us, and we can trust ourselves. All sorts of good things happen when we start saying what we mean.”

Go ahead and say NO–if that is what you really mean. It’s not that hard.

'NO'-hand_CROPD